“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Camp Latrine 11/17/06

It seems as if no right-winger at the Amarillo Globe-News shall be left untouched by the November madness. Even Mr. Van Camp, ever the reliable, unwavering, certified crank, has gone off the deep end. But unlike his fellow reactionaries he has, for a shocking, glimmering moment, started making some sense.

After years of following the conservative line on penal punishment, believing the death penalty too lenient for the crime of double parking, he has suddenly gone all bleeding-heart liberal for
prison reform, wanting humane treatment of prisoners instead of drawing and quartering, rehabilitation instead of a living damnation in steel-barred tombs.

Why this sudden change of (one does not use "heart" to describe a small flinty cinder) attitude? We need not attribute this unexpected turn to some errant liberal enlightenment or Christian charity. It comes from a simple, traditional Republican principle: the sincere conviction that
convicted relatives should not suffer like others in the big house.

This is a touching Republican family value. Where once Mr. Van Camp would condemn judges for leniency in sentencing the great unwashed to lifetimes of hard labor he now finds it overly harsh that his own kin is condemned to a soft bunk for a handful of years. He worries that in a penitentiary full of habitually violent Black and Hispanic dope fiends a White family member victimized by alcohol and an unsympathetic judicial system must now live with these savage menaces to society.

Our instant reformer does find hope however, hope in sweet Jesus, in the tender mercy of redemption offered by a faith-based ministry. But this salvation is threatened by the damnable ACLU, which challenges God on the piffling grounds of “separation of church and state.” It is endangered as well by Van Camp’s detested Muslims, who are given access to these incarcerated souls and allowed to preach jihad and hatred against the United States.

Here at last Van Camp redeems himself, regaining his normal insanity and giving let to his celebrated bigotry. Divorced from reality he takes no notice that the objection to these faith-based ministries is a Constitutional one, that taxpayer funds and government power are being used to establish de facto churches within the hoosegow.

Inmates are forced to participate in sectarian programs to gain the privilege of rehabilitation and early release; they are coerced to convert to an evangelical Christianity hostile to other faiths, including other Christian denominations, even Methodists. This is all contrary to First Amendment rights that cannot be lawfully denied, even if limited, in the confines of the pen.

What Van Camp does see is political correctness in allowing other faiths in the prisons, especially Islam. From an isolated incident he perceives a vast Islamic conspiracy to penetrate the penal system and recruit new jihadists. Muslims in the slammer are a danger to the safe deliverance of his blood and kin.

It is admittedly a tiny window opened on the small mind of a public racist, but there is more to Van Camp’s reflexive assumption and a bald assertion that all Muslims preach hate against our country. Van Camp’s hostility toward Islam is not only that in his narrow-minded view Islam has declared war against the West, but that he considers Islam an inferior
culture and Muslims an inferior race. With his repeated calls for the indiscriminate killings of Muslim men, women and children, were he not a regular columnist he would be considered a sociopath and fast-tracked for the psycho ward (in a civilized community).

Where does this unflinching hatred come from? Why do his eyes bug out constantly straining at the end of his editor’s choke-chain? With the Amarillo Globe-News now Bedlam itself no proper shrink will ever examine him, so we must make our diagnosis from the evidence at hand like kindly Doctor Frist.

It is a given that racism is a learned behavior. Those that cling to it feel inferior and must constantly reassure themselves others are inferior to feel superior. But nursing hatred comes from something deeper. Van Camp hates the Japanese, his enemy in the war, and while we could believe he hates them for what they did to other soldiers at Bataan or in the camps, he is forgiving of the Germans, so it is more likely racist or personal, just as prison reform is personal.

And what could be more personal than a humiliation that now must be forever visited back upon his inferiors? We now enter Doctor Frist’s domain of actively responsive permanently vegetative state of speculative hypothesis.

Out of those long dull air patrols throughout the war there was a single bombing run. In that moment of inescapable fear was a youth’s early manhood suddenly stripped away? Not by the dry mouth of fright or the paralysis of terror, but by the beaten bed-wetter’s horrible secret? Did the gunner completely wet his pants in battle?

However it happened, Van Camp is still a big fan of dropping the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. His friends want it dropped on the all the Islamic nations. Need we wonder why?